Archive for March, 2020

A Question on Racism

Monday, March 30th, 2020

[A reader made the following inquiry.]

Q. Please share with me Qur’an and Hadith verses and authoritative Islamic Commentary on Race/Racism, etc. (via .pdf or otherwise) demarcative of the limit beyond which The Deity requires absolutely no thought or action greater than mere disagreement with the clearest of wrongdoing in one’s own heart.

A. From the Qur’an:

“And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colors: verily in that are Signs for those who know.” (30:22)

“O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And God has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).” (49:13)

From the hadith:

“All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over a white – except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not therefore do injustice to yourselves. Remember one day you will meet Allah and answer your deeds. So beware: do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.” Farewell Pilgrimage Sermon

“Whosoever of you sees wrongdoing, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so [i.e., lacks the power], then [let criticize it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then he should detest it in his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.” [Muslim]

Finally, I commend this narrative:

The Prophet (saws) used to talk to his companions, joke with them, and listen to their needs. He would correct any errors he saw them doing, especially when they were racial mistakes. Abu Hurairah said:
“Two people swore at each other once, and one of them insulted the other by ridiculing his mother. This reached the Prophet (saws), and he called the man and said: ‘Did you scoff at his mother?’ and he kept repeating it. The man said, ‘O Messenger of Allah (swt), ask Allah (swt) to forgive me.’ He said to him: ‘Raise your head and look about, you are not better than any individual regardless whether he is of a red or black skin color. No one is better than the other except through piety.’” (Ibn Rahawaih)

The Prophet (saws) would not stand for another to make fun of anyone else in his presence. Once, while his Companions got together in a gathering and the Prophet s had yet to come, Khalid B. Al-Walid, Abdurrahmann B. Auf, Bilal B. Abi Rabah, and Abu Dharr were among those in attendance. The only dark skinned companion present was Bilal the Abyssinian. Abu Dharr began speaking, and Bilal corrected him. Abu Dharr exclaimed out of anger, “Even you, O son of a black woman, try to correct me?”

Bilal got up, visibly upset at what was said, and said: “By Allah (swt), I will report you to the Prophet.” He went to him and informed him of what was said and the Prophet (saws) became very angry.

Abu Dharr rushed to meet the Prophet (saws) and said “Peace be upon you, O Prophet of Allah (swt).” He continued, “I am not sure if he responded to my greeting due to his extreme anger.” Then he said: “O Abu Dharr! Have you ridiculed him on account of his mother? Indeed you are a man in whom there remain traits of the pre-Islamic era!” Abu Dharr wept and said: “O Messenger of Allah (swt), ask Allah  (swt) to forgive me.” He left the Masjid weeping and when he saw Bilal, he put his head on the ground and said to Bilal, “O Bilal, I will not move from my position till you put your foot on my head. You are the honorable and I am the disgraced.” Bilal wept, and kissed the cheek of Abu Dharr and said: “A face that has prostrated to Allah  (swt) is not to be stepped on—rather, it is to be kissed.” (Bukhari)

Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, Ph.D.
Minaret of Freedom Institute

News and Analysis (3/29/20)

Sunday, March 29th, 2020

The Saudi monarchy “put dozens of Palestinian activists on trial” on charges of supporting the winners of the last free and fair election in Palestine, which Riyadh calls “terrorist group”:

Iran is among countries India agreed to help fight the pandemic …

… but where are the U.S. “politicians from both parties [who] mourned” the “death of … the young Iranian woman shot during a protest” now that sanctions are causing deaths of Iranian innocents”:

With Iran’s heightened nationalism, any new regime will resist foreign interference and pressure:

Israel army protects settlers beating Palestinians residents, a reflection of the increasing number of daily violence against Palestinians reported by Human Rights Watch:

The arrival of the coronavirus in Gaza would require cooperation between the Palestinians and the Israeli:

On Thursday, the Australian man accused of killing Muslim worshipers in New Zealand was convicted on all counts:

Jewish and Palestinian paramedic joint prayer for the coronavirus outbreak:

“Benny Gantz could have made history by forming a minority government with the support of the Palestinian parties. Instead he dismantled his own political camp and joined his rival”:

News and Analysis (3/26/20)

Thursday, March 26th, 2020

Israel agreed to release Palestinian withheld tax revenue as PA faces major challenges to contain the coronavirus …

… but has yet to “release sums to … employees that had been paid … by … employers to cover … sick days”:

“The Jerusalem-based Islamic Waqf Council has managed to close Al-Aqsa Mosque because of the coronavirus outbreak, amid fears that Jewish extremists would take advantage of the crisis”:

As Iran prepares for a second Coronavirus wave …

… Pompeo urges allies to kick Iran while it’s down …

… but others think such hostilities are foolish in this time of crisis:

By referring to Palestinians as “non-Israeli”, Trump’s administration eliminates Palestinians’ history and identity:

Muslim and Jewish communities of Birmingham have been assured respect for their burial amid fear of legislation to cremate bodies during coronavirus outbreak:

While Iran and Saudi Arabia took action to prevent contagion, “Imran Khan allowed a quarter of a million Muslims to gather–and returning home, they’ve spread the coronavirus from Kyrgyzstan to Gaza”:

A former Pakistan cricket player urges people to rise above any cultural divide and act responsibly to fight the pandemic:

Iran is ready to pick up the slack as Saudi Arabia struggles “to meet the fantastical supply figures that it has given to key potential buyers”:

“[T]he Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association is offering to help pick up groceries, fill out prescriptions and provide moral support”:

News and Analysis (3/23/20)

Monday, March 23rd, 2020

Counter-intuitively, the Indonesian VP wants medical personnel exempt from ritual requirements to wash before prayers during the pandemic:

Amid violence through the Middle East, Canadian Jews, Christians, and Muslims are showing solidarity and working together to support their community:

Iran has released US veteran Michael White, and a group of economists and policy experts urge Trump to lift sanctions to enable confronting the coronavirus:

Israel’s Nationality Law took away Arabic’s status as an official language, limits national right to self-determination to Jews and calls for promoting Jewish, but not Christian or Muslim, settlement within Israel:

Turner is banned from the profession for life, having “failed to show any insight whatsoever into his actions or the impact that his views could have on pupils [and showing] no remorse throughout the process” :

“In 2015, anti-Houthi sentiment bolstered Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi’s leadership. Today, many say his support hangs by a thread”:

While Pompeo accuses China, Iran, and Russia of spreading the coronavirus, China and Iran point fingers at the US:

“[O]ver the last four decades, [MEK] has devolved into a secretive, cult-like group that resembles a militant, Islamist version of the Church of Scientology” engaged in “bombings, sabotage missions, and murders”:

On the seventeenth anniversary of the murder of American activist Rachel Corrie we should remember her sacrifice and the Palestinians’ continuing struggle:

News and Analysis (3/21/20)

Saturday, March 21st, 2020

India’s cruel grip on Kashmir is exacerbating the threat of the coronavirus:

After a five year absence, Sinead O’Connor finds solace from political and personal strife in Islam, with a concert of which one attendee says, “To say it was religious would be an understatement”:

Iran must struggle with coronavirus and with sanctions at the same time:

The U.S. launched a military response against Iran …

… absent any “clear evidence that the attacks, launched by the Shiite militia group Khataib Hezbollah, had been ordered by Iran” …

… and then danced around the issue at a press conference:

As a 12-year-old who was born and raised as a Christian, she did not realize, that the government’s inexplicable error identifying her as a Muslim on her ID card would one day prevent her from getting married:

“For the first time in Muslim history, communities ranging from Kenya to Saudi Arabia, from Britain to Kuwait have shuttered or curtailed access to mosques. Not so in Pakistan, where clerics are defiant”:

“Iran and France had agreed to swap Mr. Marchal and Jalal Ruhollahnejad, an Iranian engineer detained by the French authorities over accusations that he violated U.S. sanctions against Tehran”:

News and Analysis (3/18/20)

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

Despite a “dire warning” …

… “An Islamist group broke open the door of the door of the Qom mausoleum, which honours Reza’s sister Fatima Masumeh” ignoring Rouhani’s advice that pilgrims connect to four closed holy sites “in spirit” …

… while at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque, prayers will be held outside during the coronavirus pandemic …

… and Palestinian soldiers raised Italian flags in occupied Palestinian city of Bethlehem to express solidarity:

Although the US political dispute with Iran interferes with the humanitarian aid to Iran’s effort against coronavirus …

… Sheikh Abdullah of UAE, stressed global cooperation in a phone call with Iran’s FM, and offered support to help the Iranian people survive the outbreak …

… similarly, “Washington and Tehran could use the public health emergency to show goodwill, dial down tensions while saving face, and avoid a dangerous confrontation”:

Professor Kamaly’s recounting of the history of Muslim women could dispel the myth about women inferiority in Islam:

A Muslim youth group in South Carolina has donated to charity agency in response to the COVID-19:

“Iraq has long feared it would get caught in the spiralling tensions between Iran and the US, its two main allies”:

Claims by the Director Health Services Kashmir (DHSK) “that they have blocked all alternative routes and are not allowing any one to enter Kashmir without proper screening” are disputed:

“[D]ifferences in students’ backgrounds and experiences, … treatment from staff and other students, and ‘barriers specifically associated with religious observation’ could all play a part in explaining the attainment gap”:

“The five men told state TV they were art students who had made the videos for a university project”:

News and Analysis (3/15/20)

Sunday, March 15th, 2020

As American mosques ruminated over whether to cancel Friday prayers in the face of the coronavirus …

… FCNA notes, “Quarantine, social isolation, travel bans, restricted movement, visitations, congregation and socialization are among the precautionary and preventive measures” are found in Prophetic traditions:

Israel joins the list of countries using the coronavirus as an excuse to use “state-level intel gathering tools to track its population” …

… “After all, extreme times call for extreme measures, right? The only question is how extreme it can get”:

US-Iran tension and retaliation in Iraq increased after the killing of Gen. Soleimani …

… yet as the coronavirus threat increases, the US decided to reduce its costly and bloody military presence in the Middle East:

US sanctions hampering Iran’s corona fight, Iranian Central Bank requests five billion dollar assistance …

… Iran also urges lift of sanction targeting medical supplies and food, but Pompeo says Iran must release detained Americans first:

Palestinians protesting Israeli colonization is ongoing, so is Israeli shooting unarmed young protesters:

Hamas would to let Fatah choose from “a national unity government, … comprehensive Palestinian elections, … a Palestinian National Council meeting …, and … a meeting for the factions’ secretaries-general”:

News and Analysis (3/11/20)

Wednesday, March 11th, 2020

The story of how Palestinian women cope with the unbearable living conditions Israeli has imposed upon Gaza:

19th century British women were active in the religious development of the Muslim community, a forgotten legacy:

The director general of the IAEA says that notwithstanding its claim no longer to be bound by the JCPOA since Trump’s unilateral violation, Iran hasn’t further exceeded the limits in over two months:

“He has put affection between their hearts; not if you had spent all that is in the earth, could you have produced that affection, but God has done it; for He is Exalted in might, Wise” — Qur’an [8:63]:

An artist in Kashmir laments, “I made absolutely nothing for at least the first 30 days [of the lockdown]. After that, I had to force myself into doing something, for the sake of my own sanity” …

… while India’s powerful working-class displays unity and solidarity in protests of BJP’s discriminatory anti-Muslim and anti-immigration legislation:

“While other Democrats have also reached out to Muslims, political scientist Youssef Chouhoud told the Los Angeles Times recently, ‘Sanders has done it first and done it bigger'”:

Marquette University offering “Christian Muslim Dialogue Course), students are astonished by the similarities and commonalities between the two faiths:

“Peace Now also denounced the plan’s approval” saying it “‘would allow Israel to cut the West Bank in half, build up E1 and the West Bank barrier, and shut down the possibility of developing a viable Palestinian state”:

— but bicycles provide a “way of thumbing the nose at occupation and connecting with the land”:

Iran’s “conservatives are not homogeneous and are divided into several subgroups”:

News and Analysis (3/8/20)

Sunday, March 8th, 2020

MbS shuts down the pilgrimage sites …

… and arrests potential political challengers:

Israel army snipers bragging about shooting dozens of unarmed Palestinian in the knee, many of them children; one sniper condemned the crackdown:

Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin who signed the letter opposing Trump’s peace plan said the plan is one-sided that would not move the peace process forward, and the Palestinian reaction is predictable:

Video clips of medical staff, in economic sanction and coronavirus-hit Iran, dancing through it all to lift the spirit of patients:

What were they thinking?

Fear over COVID-19 spread, urges the Islamic world, Sunni and Shiite, to ban Pilgrimage and Friday prayers:

How US sanction impacted Iran’s capability of developing a coronavirus vaccine:

Delaware Muslim Cemetery to reopen after a cease-and-desist issued for not meeting traffic safety was lifted:

Jill D’Alessandro of Fine Art Museum of San Francisco said Modest Muslim fashion often left out and misunderstood is now a major influence on global fashion:

News and Analysis (3/6/20)

Friday, March 6th, 2020

In a panel discussion for the CPAC on International religious freedom, Trump’s trip to India was described as great and the anti-Muslim Violence as a “not-one sided conflict” …

… oblivious to the fact that “[t]he anti-Muslim ideology of the RSS is driving both the decisions of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the pogroms …

… and that Modi’s attempt to recover from his six years of policy and economic setbacks lies at the heart of the mob violence targeting Muslims in India:

The new county commissioner says she “was driven to politics … after my best friend …, her husband … and younger sister … were brutally murdered in their home in Chapel Hill in a hate crime committed by their neighbor”:

World Health Organization urges the world needs to stand together to fight the Coronavirus outbreak, and declares sanctions shall not apply to emergency aid …

… yet some pressure groups seek “to impose reputational costs on companies that engage in lawful and legitimate trade with Iran” to address the public health crisis:

“[T]he Iranian director who won the the top award at last month’s Berlin film festival, has been ordered to serve a one-year prison sentence over his movies”:

“Palestinians flocked to the Joint List party and denied the prime minister a majority. Now they could even help oust him”:

“On Friday, the settlers had made their first attempt to seize Mount Al-Urma but were repelled by hundreds of locals. The confrontation left 93 people injured by Israeli live fire and rubber bullets”:

A transcript of Bob Peck’s new documentary “Solidarity” reveals the untold Palestinian suffering and history of the Israeli occupation, colonization, and apartheid in Palestine:

In defiance of simple logic, ‘[t]he White House claims that Palestinian leaders will have only themselves to blame if a plan they’ve rejected outright comes to fruition without their approval”:

Republican officials suggesting Islam and shariah not compatible with American ideology motivates Dr. Kasem of Islamic Association of Kokomo to recommend a community Islamic education: